Two San Diego Zoo children’s books win Gold Benjamin Franklin Awards

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Two San Diego Zoo children’s books have won Gold Benjamin Franklin Awards.

The Independent Book Publishers Association presented the two awards, one to “Saving Moka: The True Tale of a Rescued Tiger Cub,” by Georgeanne Irvine for best non-fiction book for young readers.

Moka the tiger cub finds herself rescued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection while being smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico.

He spends his youth being raised at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park with Rakan, another cub whose mother rejected him.

Veterinarians soon realize that Moka has health conditions that arose from smugglers taking him away from his mother at a young age.

“Saving Moka” addresses wildlife trafficking in an age-appropriate way for children.Saving Moka

A Letter From TashiThe gold award for best children’s picture book went to “A Letter from Tashi: A Snow Leopard Tale,” by local author Carrie Hasler.

This book seeks to teach children about wildlife while also teaching them life lessons and an introduction to conservation.

The Himalayas are home to Tashi the snow leopard cub and her mother, who delivers mail to nearby animals.

The young cub notices one neighbor’s mailbox never receives mail, prompting her to write a letter of kindness to the owner of the mailbox.

Tashi finds that when she needs help the most, her acts of kindness bounce back at her in unexpected ways.

This is the third year in a row for the San Diego Zoo to win Gold Benjamin Franklin Awards.

The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park sell both books as well as

Plush animals of the book’s characters are available for those wishing to take Tashi or Moka home.

These books are a part of the Hope and Inspiration children’s book collection, which are on sale right now for buy one, get one.

The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are open to guests with reservations.

Georgeanne Irvine, director of publishing for San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Press, as well as the author of the Zoo’s award-winning Hope and Inspiration children’s book collection, joined KUSI’s Elizabeth Alvarez on Good Morning San Diego to discuss the award-winning books.


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